Ways to Save & Conserve Energy
Saving energy can help lower your utility bills. Here are some helpful tips to conserve energy and not be wasteful of electricity.
Unplug appliances when not in use. Many household devices continue to draw a small amount of power when they are turned off. These "phantom" loads occur in most appliances that use electricity such as:
- Kitchen Appliances
In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the device or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to turn off all power to the device.
Other Appliance Tips
- Make sure your refrigerator door closes tightly and keep the condenser coils clean. A door leak allows cool air to escape, forcing your refrigerator to use more energy to keep food cold.
- Check the temperature settings for the most efficient appliance operations. Refrigerators should be set between 34 to 37 degrees and freezers should be at 5 degrees. Check your manual for specific recommendations.
- Running your dishwasher or washing machine only when it’s full can save water and energy. A half filled dishwasher or washing machine can cost twice as much as running a full load.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save on the cost of heating water. Except for heavily soiled or all-white loads, there is little benefit to washing in hot water.
- Use bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans only as long as necessary. In just an hour you can lose all the heated (or cooled) air in your home through an exhaust fan.
- Tightly close your fireplace damper when the fireplace isn’t in use.
- Turn off lights and equipment when not needed.
Here are some tips for hot weather days and cold weather days to improve your energy efficiency at home!
Tips for Hot Weather
- During the summer you can save on cooling costs by keeping your thermostat (or air conditioner) at the highest temperature comfortable. Depending on the size of your home, you can save 3% on cooling for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer.
- Lower window coverings to keep heat out during hot weather.
Tips for Cold Weather
- During the winter you can save on heating costs by keeping your heating thermostat at the lowest temperature comfortable. Just by lowering the temperature 4 degrees can save you approximately 5% on your heating costs.
- Raise window coverings to allow heat in during the winter.
For more Fall and Winter Energy Saving Tips, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) consumer resources and for more Spring and Summer Energy Saving Tips from the DOE, visit Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips.
Energy Yard Stick - DIY Home Energy Assessment
Getting a handle on your home’s energy use is an important first step to improving efficiency. You can do a simple assessment yourself using ENERGY STAR online tools:
- Start with the Home Energy Yardstick
Also, if you have five minutes and your last 12 months of utility bills, use the Home Energy Yardstick to compare your home’s energy use to similar homes across the country and see how your home measures up.